Models for a Peer-to-Peer Society
A seminar with Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation
Monday December 12th at 2pm in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall Seminar Room
Centre for Work, Organization and Society, University of Essex
Many observers argue that the change induced with the internet is on a par with at least the effects of the printing press, which was instrumental in creating a cascade of changes such as the renaissance, the reformation and the Enlightenment, culminating in the replacement of feudalism with capitalism. It is therefore reasonable to posit a phase transition this time as well, but what kind of transition and on which timescale? This is the question we want to address. Our first answer is that the emergence of a new hyper-productive mode of value creation, i.e. commons-based peer production as, a new ‘mode of production,’ and its co-emerging institutional framework, illuminate us about the incipient ‘patterns’ of the emergent new social order.
The temporality of change is more complex as it involves the breakdown and end of a Kondratieff cycle (a seventy year cycle), then, on a deeper level, the exhaustion of the industrial model based on cheap fossil fuel (a 500 yr cycle), and on a even deeper level, the questioning of civilization itself, as a mode of exploiting nature (a 5,000 yr cycle). Given this deep change, what part of capitalism and the market can we expect to see surviving? What kind of ‘open business models’ and p2p-friendly market structures, may be expected to be part of the new mix? Though out, our talk will be based on extrapolating current and visible trends, not on ‘desires’ for a better society.
Bio: Michel Bauwens is Peer-to-Peer theorist and an active writer, researcher and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation. He is the founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Michel will also be presenting at Tent City University, as part of Occupy London, on December 10th at 11:00am. More information about that can be found here.